How to Be a Great Summer Wedding Guest

It’s the summer wedding season again and I couldn’t be more excited! Not just as a wedding planner, but also as a wedding guest. No matter how many weddings I’ve attended, it’s still always an exciting moment when an invitation arrives in my mailbox. After all, being a wedding guest is a huge honor! The couple is letting you know that your relationship means enough to have you with them on one of the most important days of their lives. So the least you can do in return is to be a good wedding guest. Fortunately, it doesn’t take much more than a little thoughtfulness and a lot of enthusiasm!

Here are eight ways to be a great wedding guest this summer.

RSVP promptly and correctly. Once you receive an invitation, respond as soon as you can. Don’t put it off! The couple needs to know the headcount so they can inform their vendors and venue and finalize other details like favors and seating plans. And it’s not just about being timely. Be sure to RSVP using the method that the couple request. For example, if there’s a printed response card, fill it in and send it back or if there’s an online RSVP system, use it.

Don’t question the guest list. Chances are, the couple thought long and hard about the guest list. They may even have had to reduce it or reshuffle it more than once over the past year. So if they don’t include a plus one, don’t ask for one (and definitely don’t just show up with one!). Similarly, if children aren’t included, respect their decision not to invite them.

Send a gift ahead of time. While it’s not actually poor etiquette to bring a gift to the wedding itself, it’s not usually the most convenient option. Save the couple from having to haul one more gift by shipping it directly to their home beforehand.

Follow the dress code. A big faux pas a wedding guest can commit is to compete with the couple themselves, so long white dresses are generally a no-no. Beyond this, however, you should take your cue from the invitation itself. What you wear will depend on the dress code and level of formality at the venue.

Be punctual. This may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how many guests dash past the bride as she arrives outside the church! Aim to arrive around half an hour early and allow yourself some travel contingency time.

Be considerate with your camera. If you’re the type who loves to snap loads of pictures, be sure you’re following the couple’s requests. For example, if they request an unplugged ceremony, don’t whip out your phone halfway through. It’s also important to be aware of the wedding photographer and videographer and ensure you’re not in their way. Finally, don’t share pictures on social media without the couple’s agreement. But do share your pictures with them!

Adhere to all safety protocols. If the couple has put safety procedures in place like masks or hand sanitizer, follow them. Keep a respectful distance on the dance floor and respect other guests’ personal space requests.

Drink responsibly. It can be easy to drink one too many cocktails, especially in the heat of a summer afternoon. So it’s especially important to keep track of your alcohol consumption and switch out for water every now and again.

And there you have it – everything you need to know to be the perfect wedding guest!


Image by Jose Villa